The Poseidon production design is rather fantastic and director Wolfgang Peterson (Troy) has a real handle on large-scale carnage, but Poseidon is a stripped down action flick that lacks the suspense and emotional involvement to bring strength to its attempts at harrowing survival. Some sequences, only some, are nail-biting, like a very claustrophobic escape through an air vent slowly filling with water. We’re presented a situation and then Peterson cranks up the tension and utilizes different characters working together. The sequence has the added benefit of utilizing the child to save them, unlike most films of this nature where irritating kids just become a liability to your own safety. The fact that this sequence, the film’s high point in my view, is also the least expensive of this $160 million dollar movie’s sequences is not lost on me. The film’s premise of working through the bowels of an underwater ship is filled with potential. The original Poseidon Adventure was cheesy, yes, but it was a lot of fun. This slick remake brings the action fairly early, having its “rouge wave” flip the ship at the 15-minute mark. Because of this decision the audience has no attachment to the film’s collection of characters, given fleeting seconds to establish some sense of personality. You really don’t care at all what happens to these people in the ensuing danger. The female characters add nothing to the story except to fall into the constant need of being rescued. Peterson paces his obstacles mercilessly right after the other, but he runs into the problem of killing off all his expendable (read: non-white) cast off too quickly. That lessens even the small amount of tension the film had going. Poseidon is way too big-budget and serious to go for camp. The special effects are above average and the pacing is swift. Frankly, you could do worse this summer for entertainment than spending 100 minutes watching this movie.
Nate’s Grade: C+
Posted on May 22, 2006, in 2006 Movies and tagged action, disaster, emmy rossum, jacinda barrett, josh lucas, kurt russell, remake, richard dreyfuss, thriller, wolfgang peterson. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.